“The Bayanihan Spirit is called upon now more than ever to make education effective for our young children.”
Senator Pia S. Cayetano delivered this message to the country’s educators on Monday (June 1), as she called for a whole-of-society approach to address challenges to the basic education sector during COVID-19 and beyond.
Speaking before DepEd’s virtual kickoff program of the 2020 Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela, Cayetano reiterated the importance of blended learning to ensure that no child will get left behind in receiving quality education during the ‘new normal.’
“The urgent task at hand [is] the delivery of the education materials. So we are now rushing to set into place other modes of delivery because the usual physical classroom setting will not be happening anytime soon,” the senator noted.
“However, I’d like to include in the discussion that beyond the delivery of education is [the need to] reach every single child with the help of tools available to us, so we can optimize learning for each child,” she added.
Cayetano said this requires more than just shifting to a different teaching platform – from physical classes to online classes – but a comprehensive ‘blended’ approach, which will employ the participation of parents, teachers, and communities in delivering education to children.
The Chair of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Innovation, and Futures Thinking, Cayetano said educators can turn current challenges into opportunities to jumpstart education for the future.
“I support the initiatives and at the same time challenge DepEd to make the most of these challenging times and really revolutionize education for our young people today,” she said.
DepEd Secretary Leonor “Liling” Briones, for her part, echoed the senator’s beliefs, stressing that the agency shares Cayetano’s goal of approaching the sector’s needs using a futures thinking mindset.
Meanwhile, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan also expressed his support for Cayetano’s message. He said there is now a much-needed opportunity to “really transform the [country’s] education system.”
“Hindi po tatalikuran ng ating pamahalaan at ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon ang tungkulin na magbigay ng kalidad na edukasyon para sa lahat. Hindi lamang emergency response ito, kundi tulad ng sabi ni Senator Pia, kailangan nakatungtong din ito sa mas pangmatagalang vision at innovation for the future of the education system,” Usec. Malaluan stressed.
He said the agency is set to implement blended and distance learning systems in line with the agency’s goal of delivering quality education to children that is geared for the future.
DepEd is preparing to deliver different learning modalities to children during the crisis, which include printed modules, online learning resources, and television and radio instructions.
Cayetano added: “I am so happy that [DepEd under] Secretary Briones and I see eye-to-eye on these ideas. But we need to be able to translate this into actual action on the ground with our teachers [and society helping as a whole].”
“I trust that in the weeks and months to come, [we can cascade] all this information and bring our educators up to speed so the knowledge that [our children] will receive outside of the classroom is maximized,” added Cayetano, the principal author of three laws on flexible learning, including the Open High School System Act (RA 10665), Open Distance Learning Act (RA 10650), and Ladderized Education Act (RA 10647). #